Chick-Fil-A announced it will no longer donate to two organizations that have been branded as anti-LGBTQ+.
The fast-food chain received criticism nationally and on campus for donating to organizations with anti-LGBTQ+ stances.
“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos announced Monday. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
In 2018, the Chick-fil-A foundation donated $1.8 million to the FCA and The Salvation Army.
In recent months, the chain was blocked from building new locations in Buffalo and San Antonio airports. It also faced resistance in progressive cities like Boston, where politicians tried to block the chain from opening locations in the city.
In 2012, Cal Poly’s on-campus Chick-fil-A became the local center of a nationwide controversy when protestors on both sides of the gay marriage debate visited the restaurant.
“This is a positive development and it will be interesting to revisit this issue in a couple years to see if they have maintained it going forward,” Vice Chair of the Academic Senate Thomas Gutierrez said.
In May earlier this year, a resolution urging Cal Poly to kick Chick-fil-A off campus passed with overwhelming support at the Academic Senate. The resolution was introduced to Academic Senate by Gutierrez, who argued the franchise’s donations to anti-LGBTQ groups does not align with Cal Poly’s values. However, Preseident Jeffery Armstrong said closing the restaurant for its views was a “slippery slope.”
Cal Poly is the only California State University with a Chick-fil-A on campus. The Cal Poly Chick-fil-A was recognized for hitting $2 million in sales in 2018, according to Cal Poly Corporation Communications Specialist Aaron Lambert.
Gutierrez said he remains “cautiously optimistic” about Chick-Fil-A’s changing donation practices, but he said he is more comfortable with them on campus knowing they have demonstrated a commitment to change.
“I still urge Cal Poly and Cal Poly Corporation to be mindful of the practices and donation patterns of its business partners and that said partners are held to the same high diversity and inclusion standards as the rest of the campus community,” Gutierrez said.